Chamber Corner

Silver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce President Scott Terry will provide a weekly column to the Beat, featuring items and announcements of interest to the community.

The mission of the Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce is to serve our members by promoting business, commerce, and tourism in Grant County.

I'm dumbfounded when a person gets upset that the Chamber of Commerce can't help with an issue that involves a business that isn't a chamber member… and sometimes we have never even heard of the business. First and foremost, we are in business to serve our Chamber of Commerce business members. If you are not a member of the Chamber of Commerce, don't expect the Chamber office to work miracles for you. Oh, and by the way, if you are a member… don't expect miracles. There's a higher authority that does that kind of work and you don't have to pay him an annual membership fee.

We attended the Memorial Day Ceremony at Fort Bayard National Cemetery this week. The Marine Corps League did an excellent job running the ceremony this year. I just wish they had said something in public about the shape of the Fort Bayard National Cemetery. During the five years that we have lived here and we have been attending ceremonies at the National Cemetery, the cemetery itself looked nicer than we have ever seen it. The grounds were orderly, the pavilion where the ceremony took place was so nice with all the work that had been done to the walls and the concrete, and there was no orange construction fencing or yellow plastic chain. So much work has been done to make this… not just a place of honor, but a dignified and beautiful place of honor. Sure, there is more work to be done. However, when the grass comes in, the Fort Bayard National Cemetery will be a much nicer facility for the final resting place of our nation's heroes. To those who are in charge of the maintenance and administration of the Fort Bayard National Cemetery… THANK YOU.

It's Blues Festival Weekend baby! If you like the Blues, then you will love this weekend in downtown Silver City. To read about the dates, times and bands scheduled to entertain everyone at Gough Park, please visit the Blues Festival website at www.silvercitybluesfestival.org.

Monday is Memorial Day. Of course, there will be the annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Fort Bayard National Cemetery. It starts at 10:00 a.m. and is being hosted by the Marine Corps League. However, volunteers are actually needed on Friday – May 25 at 9 a.m. to help place flags beside each of the markers at Fort Bayard Cemetery. The tools needed will be a hammer and a ½ inch to ¾ inch rod to make the pilot holes for the flags. Ideally the rod will be long enough that the person stands up while making the pilot hole as opposed to bending over. Then volunteers will be needed on Tuesday – May 29 to pick up the flags.

No, this article isn't going to be about political ads or Donald Trump fake news. I will not be writing about the jerk or jerks that took a chainsaw to the posts on the Trump sign along Highway 180 between Hurley and Deming. This is an article about real trash… garbage… the filth that our fellow citizens are leaving along the sides of the road throughout Silver City and Grant County.

First, let's give a shout-out to Mayor Ken Ladner and his clean-up campaign along the streets of his town. We appreciate the effort he is making to combat the unwanted trash found along the sides of the streets and highways. Mayor Ladner is enlisting the help of volunteers and businesses to clean up the unsightly waste.

Wednesday – May 9 beginning at 6:00 p.m., the administration staff at Gila Regional Medical Center will hold a public meeting at the Grant County Conference Center (3031 Highway 180 East) in Silver City. There are two questions I want to ask you:

1. Is having a quality hospital in Grant County a priority to you?
2. Will you be at the meeting?

Why would I ask such a question?

I am always amazed by the number of people who speak badly or post negative comments on the internet about special events that are held in Grant County. Of course, the Tour of the Gila had its share of ignorant comments from local people who have nothing better to do than bloviate about things they don't like.

Well I… on behalf of the members of the Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce, want to say thank you to the organizers, the marketing experts, the countless volunteers, and the race officials for holding a spectacular event right here in Silver City. I'll admit it, I don't know much about bicycle road racing. However, I do know a little something about tourism and economic development. Most economic developers will agree that tourism is a great form of economic development. You invite people to come to your community. While they are here they spend money in restaurants, stores, hotels, and gas stations. After the event is completed, they go home… leaving thousands of dollars in our fair community. If we did a good job, they will return for the event the following year, and if they were really impressed, those people will return for long weekends or possibly vacations during their regular "personal" time. And we had people tell us over the weekend they plan to come back with their families to have a vacation because they really enjoyed the Silver City/Grant County area so much. Thank goodness they don't listen to or read the comments of the few soreheads living here.

The Tour of the Gila is a tremendous asset to our community in many ways. Sure, it brings money to our community, but it does something else that is pretty great. Tour of the Gila gives our little town of less than 10,000 people the opportunity to be seen not only on a local, regional, or state-wide stage… we get exposure on a national and international stage. There's a darn good reason why we saw teams from Australia, Canada, Costa Rico and places from across the United States. Tour of the Gila is one of the best races in the United States.

NBC Sports covered the races. KOB and KOAT stations in Albuquerque had segments of their daily news casts dedicated to the Tour of the Gila. Several cycling news venues covered the Tour of the Gila. Photographers/reporters from VeloNews, Cycling News, and others were in the field covering the race. There were also several freelancers. This year, there was something special for the Tour of the Gila. The races held on Saturday were broadcast live. There were over 35,000 unique views on Saturday watching the live stream/coverage of the race provided by SkyWest Media, with 849 peak concurrent users. The live feed was provided over three platforms: Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and on a private player on TouroftheGila.com. The live stream coverage included branding for Silver City to help promote the area from those watching around the world. A huge THANK YOU to WNM Communications for providing the high-speed internet. Folks, this streaming of the Tour of the Gila was a BIG thing for not only the event… but our entire area. All of the really cool things that happened this year will definitely have a tremendously positive impact on what will happen next year for the 2019 Tour of the Gila.

So, the title of this article is true… we were winners this year and we will see a bigger and better Tour of the Gila next year.

By the way, there is a scheduled public meeting regarding the Gila Regional Medical Center (our hospital) set for Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. in the Grant Conference Center. If you are interested, come to the meeting.

If you like my article, call me. If you don't like the article, you can still call. The phone number at the Chamber of Commerce office in the Grant County Veterans Memorial Business & Conference Center is 538-3785.

I don't know about you, but I hate moving. Kathy and I just moved into another house at the end of March. I know that it will take a good two or three months to figure out where everything is. Moving is simply terrible. The only good thing that comes from moving is that I will find something that I lost during the move before this one. We're simply getting too old to be making all these moves. I think I'm going to start taking trailer loads of stuff to the landfill that we no longer need to haul from place to place.

Of course, there are always the inevitable things that don't work correctly in the new home. Such as having a two-bathroom home, yet one toilet hasn't worked properly (it leaks… and that sounds terrible for a toilet) since before we even moved in. So after about a month, if the only toilet that works in the house is occupied… well, it's a good thing we are living out in the county now.

This is Tour of the Gila week. While I am writing this article, teams and individuals are here in the Conference Center registering and attending meetings. I know there are two teams from Australia. I just met some guys with a team from Costa Rico. There are Olympic champions. There are International Champions. And there are a lot of Champions in the making right here in Silver City. I can't think of any other town in New Mexico that can even come close to matching the sports talent that is converging on Grant County this week.

Tour of the Gila participants… thank you for coming to Silver City. We hope you have a wonderful time while you are here. Though everyone can't win, we hope all of you are successful.

Earlier today, Wednesday, the Chamber of Commerce helped a local business celebrate with a ribbon cutting and open house. An Open Door is a local facility that provides assistance to people with developmental disabilities with the everyday functions of life. An Open Door has bridged the gap between their clients that they serve and the community since 2012.

An Open Door is located at 6 Peterson Drive in Silver City. If you are not familiar with Peterson Drive, it is located just east of the Silver City town limits on the south side of Highway 180 East heading toward Santa Clara. The organization strives to provide the best quality of services to individuals with developmental disabilities by always: advocating, training, maintaining the health, safety, desires and discovering how to help each person served to reach their individual goals and dreams. To learn more about An Open Door, you can call their office at (575) 534-9161 or visit their website – www.youraod.com.

It was a great day to visit An Open Door and learn more about the fine work they do in the community.

There sure is a lot of chatter about the County Commission and what they will do with Gila Regional Medical Center. I can't believe there are local folks who think that the Commissioners are wasting time and money meeting with various companies and other hospitals to come up with the best decision possible for the people of Grant County. I don't know about you, but when I vote for someone to represent me, I want them to do the best job they can. So. they are having lots of meetings. So, they are traveling to visit other hospitals. Great… because I believe they need to learn as much as possible about possible buyers and learn the best practices for running a hospital before making their final decision. Personally, I think our County Commissioners are doing a superb job to educate themselves about this issue before they must take a stand… one way or the other. We're talking about our healthcare for the future. I would think everyone in Grant County would want the commissioners to take as much time as possible and hold as many meetings as are necessary to make this huge decision that will impact each person living here. Thank you, Commissioners!

If you ever feel lost, call the Chamber of Commerce office at 538-3785. We have maps, we have telephone books, and we can find things for you on the internet.

Do I have a bone to pick with Facebook or some other social media platform? No, not really. I find that social media can be useful as a tool to get out a message to lots of people quickly. When we almost lost our youngest son in an auto accident several years ago, I used social media to let people know the severity of his condition. Through social media, we had responses from as far as Australia that he had been added to prayer chains. Given that so many people thought he would die, he is our miracle child… and I credit social media for helping get to so many wonderful people who prayed for Ethan. This is definitely the good.

Live from Silver City

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